Friday, August 1, 2014

Watch My Garden Grow: July 2014 Journal

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July 30, 2014
This is a time of year that things are really rewarding in the gardening world. Efforts have paid off and the garden is going crazy! The only thing that bugs me is the garden starts to look like a jungle...but I guess that shouldn't bug me. It is crazy because if you don't look at your garden for a mere couple of days, it will look like an entirely different place. You can see  May's photos here and June's photos here.

I gave a basic run down in how to grow peas here. The peas are almost done bearing fruit. We have loved them and have been eating peas for most of June and July. Planting them in the shade really extends their life. They don't like heat, and it has been a hot summer. But with the shade, they are producing weeks after they normally would. I think we will be pulling the plants this weekend, though. The plants were fine a few days ago, but today they had a lot of brown leaves, which means they are done.
July 30, 2014

I gave a basic run down on how to grow beans here. We are also harvesting beans right now. I mentioned before that this is our first year not putting grass clippings around the beans. It is definitely nice not having grass essentially velcroed to the beans, but the trade off is that the beans get splattered and stained with mud when the sprinkler is on. I am wondering if I should try some landscape fabric around the beans next year. I couldn't do my whole garden in that because I am far to cheap, but a couple of rows should be okay.

July 30, 2014

I gave the basic rundown of how to grow carrots hereThe carrots are almost ready to pick. We picked a couple about two weeks ago but they just weren't quite as large as we would like.

July 30, 2014

Corn has been crazy this year. We planted a bunch, hoping to can it. I have since learned that I might not be able to really grow enough to make it worth it. Anyway, we spent at least an hour planting all of the corn early one Saturday morning. Only about half of it came up. Ugh! So we decided to plant more. Then all of that came up. BUT I can see a stark difference in how the corn grows in different parts of the garden. Corn apparently does not like shade AT ALL. The corn in the sun is taller than I am. The corn in the shade in the evening is up to my knee. So, no shade for corn. And I might not be canning any. You can see the stark size difference in the picture below.
July 30, 2014

I gave the basic run down on how to grow lettuce hereLettuce was all fine and dandy until one day in late June we went out and found aphids all over the lettuce! Gross, gross, gross! I have never had that happen before. Aphids are so hard to fully kill, and basically impossible to get them off of your lettuce leaves. There really isn't anything I would want spray to kill the aphids and then still eat the lettuce. I really should have just picked what was there about mid-June and put it in the fridge--the leaves were a little bigger than is ideal for tender lettuce. Anyway, we pulled the lettuce and threw it away so the aphids couldn't spread around the garden. So no picture here--the lettuce is gone.

I gave the basic rundown of how to grow onions hereWe have harvested our onions! They blossomed, I waited a week, then I smashed the greenery. Then I picked them and my husband cut the green off and we set them on our deck table to dry out for a week. I will be putting them in some nylons for storage soon.

We are harvesting some peppers, also. I heard peppers like some shade, so I put them in partial shade this year. I still can't tell if they are doing better, worse, or the same as usual. I think I will know better in a month. You can see there are some bugs eating the leaves of the pepper plants. That isn't a problem--at least the amount they have eaten.
July 30, 2014

I gave the basic rundown on how to grow spinach hereAphids apparently don't like spinach like they like lettuce, but I ruled the spinach guilty by association and we pulled all of that, also.

The zucchini is also bearing fruit! Zucchini really goes crazy once it gets going. So far, it isn't crazy yet. It will be soon. Zucchini is one of those plants you have to check daily once it starts bearing. One day, you see no fruit. If you wait three days, you will walk out to find zucchini that is bigger than ideal (which is exactly what I found when I took pictures this morning).
July 30, 2014

I gave the basic rundown on how to grow tomatoes here.  Mmm....we are starting to get some cherry tomatoes. Garden tomatoes are the best. Something I do with my tomatoes at this time of year is trim them. We plant them in a row and if let them go, they just grow into each other. They seem to take as much space as they have--if we increase the space between plants, they just get bigger the next year. Then you can't get to half of the tomatoes at harvest time. So I prune the branches so that I can move between each plant. It is painful, but it is worth it.

You can see in the corn picture above that some of my tomato plants are tall...really, really tall. Probably over 6 feet high. Interestingly, they are the ones in the shade. I am not sure how my shaded tomato plants will react. I am not sure how they will fruit. Most if not all gardeners will tell you tall tomato plants full of leaves are bad for fruiting. I usually have large tomato plants and haven't ever had an issue with getting way more tomatoes than I need, so I don't stress. I only trim for my convenience.
July 30, 2014

Jack-Be-Little Pumpkins
I ended up buying a plant for my jack-be-little pumpkins since my seeds didn't germinate (actually, my neighbor bought it for me). The plant is doing well and is setting fruit. Side note, my neighbor said when she bought it, she saw some at Walmart for $4 each. She decided to try the local nursery where it was $1 each--so moral of the story is always check local nurseries before your big box stores for your garden plants.
July 30, 2014

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